As Disney prepares to launch its own streaming service in Disney+, it is making changes in how it deals with rival streaming companies. Disney has announced it would no longer allow advertisements promoting Netflix to air on most of its networks.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, a Disney spokesman described this move of as a reevaluation of the company's business relationships. "While the initial decision was strictly advertising-based, we reevaluated our strategy to reflect the comprehensive business relationships we have with many of these companies, as direct-to-consumer is one element."
With the new decision by Disney, Netflix advertisements will no longer air on ABC, Freeform or National Geographic. The one key exception is ESPN, which will still offer ad space to Netflix. FX -- one of the new cable properties Disney owns following its acquisition of Fox -- never accepted Netflix advertising to begin with. This decision also likely shuts out Netflix from advertising during the Oscars, which airs on ABC.
The battle between Disney and Netflix has raged for two years now. Disney announced in 2017 that it would stop licensing most of its content to Netflix, which likely led to Netflix canceling its Marvel shows.
This advertising decision is also nothing new. Cable networks never offered advertising space to rival networks outside its parent companies. With Netflix as a streaming service, it was different, but with Disney+ coming in November, it is now a direct rival.
Netflix remains one of the most substantial ad buyers of all streaming services, spending $1.8 billion in 2018 while on pace for more in 2019. However, time will make it harder for them to find advertising partners in the future.